Resilient people develop a mental capacity that allows them to adapt with ease during adversity. Like bamboo, they bend but rarely break. Resilient people possess a set of paradoxical traits.
It is difficult to understand how you can control your destiny when the very nature of adversity takes away your control, says Faisal Hoque in his FC article.
Research shows that people with a strong internal locus of control are more resilient, as opposed to people who believe that things are done to them by outside forces or happen by chance. Internal locus allows us to create options and scenarios based on instinct, the situation, and foresight. It allows us to create alternative plans in anticipation or in the midst of adversity.
It was Winston Churchill that said a true test of a man’s character is when he is given adversity, not power.
As humans, our instincts are to fight bitterly against the adversity we are faced with. Paradoxically, the most resilient among us will often find a way to fight it by embracing it, according to Hoque.
Quoting Randy Pausch, from his book The Last Lecture, says “Once we accept our situation and let go of the outcome, it allows us to adapt and even thrive in the face of adversity. It’s not about how to achieve your dreams, it’s about how to lead your life … If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself, the dreams will come to you.” He says that another way to be prepared for adversity when making a decision is to think of the worst case scenario. What’s the most terrible thing that could happen and put a contingency plan in place.
If we pay close attention, we will see that adversity can come into our life to guide us to our true destiny, according to Hogue.
“For, after all, every one who wishes to gain true knowledge must climb the Hill of Difficulty alone, and since there is no royal road to the summit, I must zigzag it in my own way. I slip back many times, I fall, I stand still, I run against the edge of hidden obstacles, I lose my temper and find it again and keep it better, I trudge on, I gain a little, I feel encouraged, I get more eager and climb higher and begin to see the widening horizon. Every struggle is a victory. One more effort and I reach the luminous cloud, the blue depths of the sky, the uplands of my desire.” – Helen Keller